The courses will explore the variety of ways environmental issues are variously constructed and contested within both formal curriculum (schooling) and informal curriculum (culture). Students receive 18 semester hours of credit for completing the following courses:
- Environmental Issues of New Zealand (5 credits): This course will explore the unique geology, biology and ecology of New Zealand, including examination of a variety of terrestrial and coastal-marine ecosystems. A previous course in Biology or Geology is recommended. This course fulfills a Scientific Inquiry General Education Requirement.
- Faculty Seminar - Where the Wild Things Are (4 credits): This course will explore the concept of "wildness" in environmental literature and examine how our definitions, assumptions and mental models of the concept impact environmental decision-making and policy. This course will be taught by Jay Roberts.
- Cultures of New Zealand (3 credits): Drawing from both historical and contemporary frames of reference, this course explores the intersecting themes of culture, identity and place in the New Zealand Context. This course fulfills a Diversity-International General Education Requirement.
- Field Study Seminar (3 credits): The field study seminar is designed to give students an immersive and experiential sense of place in New Zealand. Students will be placed with a local agency, organization or school in Whanganui in an effort to integrate theory and practice in the program by engaging with local residents on matters of importance to them.
- Environmental Perspectives of the South Island (3 credits): This course involves a three-week study and travel immersion on the South Island. Using a case study and comparative approach, students will be introduced to several key environmental issues and topics including marine ecology in Kaikoura, mining and hydropower on the West Coast and disaster recovery in Christchurch.
- Outdoor Education (1 credit): Several outdoor expeditions are planned including a canoe trip on the Whanganui River, a backpacking excursion on the South Island and a multi-sport experience in the Marlborough Sounds. This course fulfills a Wellness General Education Requirement.
Pre-Departure Course and Post-Return Course
Students accepted to the New Zealand Program are required to participate in Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre (1 credit) prior to departure and Cross-Cultural Explorations - Post (1 credit) after they return. Pre-departure sessions are designed to prepare students for the cross-cultural experience and will include readings, activities, films, lectures, and discussions with former participants of the program. A weekend retreat is part of this course. Students and parents will receive a Handbook of important information prior to the program. Following return to campus, students will participate in a 7-week course that will guide them in processing, analyzing and building upon their off-campus experience. Credit for Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre is dependent upon successful completion of the semester program.
The cost of the program is equivalent to one semester of on-campus tuition, fees, room and board. The program covers academic and educational costs, room and board, cultural events, and required group excursions while students are on the academic portion of the program. Students on financial aid may apply their aid to one Earlham or Earlham-approved off-campus program during their college career.
Students will need to plan for additional money to cover other program costs such as roundtrip airfare, passport and visa fees, personal equipment/clothing (group gear is provided), personal expenses, and costs incurred during independent travel periods.
Students are responsible for arranging their own flights to and from New Zealand.
Undergraduate students in good standing with the College may apply. This program is geared toward students with an interest in environmental studies and environmental sciences. Students on academic probation or disciplinary probation are not eligible to participate. Majors from all disciplines are welcome. Selection will be conducted by a student and faculty committee. There are no pre-requisites but Bio III, Eco-Bio or a similar introductory environmental course is strongly suggested.